Author Topic: ridonkulous AA%  (Read 2018 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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ridonkulous AA%
« on: December 21, 2012, 09:14:21 AM »
So I just sampled a barley wine I brewed back in late november(around t-day). The recipe, if I recall correctly (as I am away from my home computer with my recipe info) was %60-%40 or %70-%30 pilsner and munich 10L for an OG of ~1.086. Adjusted RO water for pH and calcium with calcium chloride and gypsum. First runnings only went into the barley wine. I capped the mash with some wheat malt, flaked oats and a bit more pilsner and got a really nice wit out of the second runnings but that's not really related to the question/comment.

So I mashed this pils, munich grist low, around 149-150 for 90 minutes. did a 90 minute boil did NOT add any yeast nutrient as I have been getting some slight metalic flavours I suspect from the nutrient. chilled as far as i could, put it in the fridge to finish chilling, aerated and pitched a 2 step (1.5 l per step) starter of Wlp037 and stuck it in the spare bathroom as the garage can get a little chilly at night and I didn't want any stalling going on.

After 1 week I added 1 quart maple syrup (~2.5 lbs) which should have bumped my 'og' to about 1.100.

When I added the syrup I noticed a thick green chunky cap on the beer and I figured it was a combo of thick krausen from a true top cropper mixed with lots of hop gunk (I am not terribly careful to keep that stuff in the kettle) didn't think anything of it except 'ew gross' and put the syrup in.

two weeks later I took a gravity reading 1.016. Looking good! tasting pretty good as well. ugly cap of greenish gunk still there. But i am bottling this batch and I don't have time right now so it gets another couple weeks to condition on the yeast before I am ready.

fast forward to last night. out of curiousity I decided to sample and check gravity. Greenish gunk cap, STILL THERE! but whatever, it is what it is. no mold or anything actually gross just yeast and hop gunk. fill the cylinder, drop in the hydro and... 1.002!!!!! (the temp might have been as high as 68-70 so adjust that up to 1.003 or 1.004 maybe.

That's like 96-98% AA wow, this yeast is only supposed to handle ~75%.

Checked my hydro in plain tap water and at 78 it read .97ish so that's pretty accurate, maybe a point or two low so maybe we are talking about 1.006 tops.

I wouldn't be able to tell if there was a pellicle because the greenish gunk cap. I didn't get any strong funk in the flavour, it actually tasted pretty good. a little pilsner sweetness sort of highlights the maple flavours. Clarity is pretty good. I can't decide if I am tasting a hint of brett or just imagining that because of the insanely low FG but DARN. never seen attenuation like that from a non-belgian strain. According to beer smith that puts it at just over 13% ABV making this the biggest (ABV) beer I have ever brewed.

now that that is all out there, I guess it's not really a question but if all y'all want to hazard guesses as to what might have happened my ears are open.

It's going in bottles next week sometime primed with more maple syrup.

incremental feeding rocks to by the way. the flavour is not hot at all. you would NEVER guess this was a 13% beer.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 01:53:10 PM »
Shouldn't syrup be more or less all fermentable sugars? If that's the case then adding 14 points to the OG would also knock about 6 points off the FG. So you're essentially looking at a 1.086 wort fermenting down to 1.010-1.012 on its own, which doesn't seem unusual for a recipe with no crystal malts and a long, low mash rest.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 02:00:59 PM »
Shouldn't syrup be more or less all fermentable sugars? If that's the case then adding 14 points to the OG would also knock about 6 points off the FG. So you're essentially looking at a 1.086 wort fermenting down to 1.010-1.012 on its own, which doesn't seem unusual for a recipe with no crystal malts and a long, low mash rest.

well put. looking at it like that it makes good sense. I was suprised at the amount of body remaining as well not thin at all even with out carbonation. woo hoo. I made a 13% beer!

I wonder if I should add some champagne yeast for bottling. the stuff that's in there must be pretty pooped by now.
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Jonathan I Fuller

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 09:08:22 PM »
I'd add some yeast at bottling.  Champagne yeast isn't necessary but if that's what ya got then go for it.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 09:16:59 AM »
How is the mouthfeel? Is it thin? I've heard that WLP037 can be a super attenuator, but that just doesn't sound right. You said you calculated an OG ~1.086 - was that actually measured? Maybe you got a lower mash efficiency than you originally thought?

Shouldn't syrup be more or less all fermentable sugars? If that's the case then adding 14 points to the OG would also knock about 6 points off the FG. So you're essentially looking at a 1.086 wort fermenting down to 1.010-1.012 on its own, which doesn't seem unusual for a recipe with no crystal malts and a long, low mash rest.

I'm not sure I'm following the logic here. If you start with a 1.086 wort fermenting down to 1.010-1.012, those last 10-12 points represent unfermentable sugars from the initial wort. When you add a fully fermentable sugar it will get fermented to completion, but you still have the unfermentable sugar from the initial wort. Yes, ethanol is lighter than water so your FG may dip a little bit, but I can't see that being more than a point or two if you're only adding 14 points of syrup.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 09:46:39 AM »
Yes, ethanol is lighter than water so your FG may dip a little bit, but I can't see that being more than a point or two if you're only adding 14 points of syrup.

Assuming it ferments out fully, every "point" of sugar added will subtract about 0.37 points from the FG.

http://seanterrill.com/2011/10/27/simple-sugars-and-specific-gravity/
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Offline erockrph

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 11:23:29 AM »
Yes, ethanol is lighter than water so your FG may dip a little bit, but I can't see that being more than a point or two if you're only adding 14 points of syrup.

Assuming it ferments out fully, every "point" of sugar added will subtract about 0.37 points from the FG.

http://seanterrill.com/2011/10/27/simple-sugars-and-specific-gravity/

I stand corrected. I guess I just have never seen gravities drop that low in my own experience. If I take a 1.070 IPA recipe that usually finishes at 1.012-1.014, then add 15 points of table sugar to bring it to IIPA range, I would expect to see it finish around 1.010 or so. That could certainly be specific to my process, yeast selection, etc., though.
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Offline dordway29

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 11:32:55 AM »
When we refer to unfermentable gravity points... generally that's for saccharomyces. There are other types of yeast, bacteria or enzymes etc. that can break those sugars down or ferment them out. Chances are you got some kind of contamination and consider yourself lucky you don't taste any funk.

A friend of mine had a similar experience with beers he's bottled with his beer gun. These beers were fully fermented out and kegged but months after having bottled them, they would volcano when we opened them up. But no strange attributes.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 07:11:51 PM »
How is the mouthfeel? Is it thin? I've heard that WLP037 can be a super attenuator, but that just doesn't sound right. You said you calculated an OG ~1.086 - was that actually measured? Maybe you got a lower mash efficiency than you originally thought?


It's not carbed up yet or anything but the mouthfeel is fine. Not chewy at all but still sweeter than a double IPA ought to be, more or less just right for a barley wine in my opinion.

When we refer to unfermentable gravity points... generally that's for saccharomyces. There are other types of yeast, bacteria or enzymes etc. that can break those sugars down or ferment them out. Chances are you got some kind of contamination and consider yourself lucky you don't taste any funk.

A friend of mine had a similar experience with beers he's bottled with his beer gun. These beers were fully fermented out and kegged but months after having bottled them, they would volcano when we opened them up. But no strange attributes.

I don't think it's infected. I mean it's always possible. but there are no other signs at all, it's quite clear considering there is a giant yeast cake floating above it. but at this point I am not that worried about that. I'll get it in bottles and crack one open in a couple weeks to see what's going on.
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Offline woodlandbrew

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Re: ridonkulous AA%
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 07:27:40 AM »
A 90 minute mash is going to allow the Beta enzymes more time to work which means a more fermentable wort.  The mash temperature is a little on the low side as well.  Also, as was mentioned, the syrup will be nearly 100% fermentable.  Fermentation temperature also sounds a little high if you were going for a higher final gravity.  The numbers you are measuring sound reasonable.

Here's how I run the numbers:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/final-gravity-in-recipe-formulation.html
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